Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today's guest post is brought to you by Jenny or Jenndola as I know her. We only recently met via Twitter, and I liked the idea of picking a post from someone I hardly know, and who hardly knows me. She's has a "we met at BYU" story. Shocking, I know! She's another great example of being happy when we are not getting what we asked for. Righteous desires and being a good person doesn't equal getting everything you ever wanted. But I'll let Jenny explain that-

I'm Jenny, and this is the first guest post I've written, so please be gentle. I'm 34 and I've been married for 13 years (I accidentally typed "13 kids" there. Not even close.) to a man I refer to as "Car" in my posts. I've  been pregnant five really horrifying times, and we now have two boys, ages 4 and 2. I'm a part-time pharmacy tech/full-time mom who, in March, made a goal to blog every day for a year. I may, perhaps, be certifiably insane. I previously wrote two posts about meeting my husband, one of which was an interview with him. I've combined the two for your reading enjoyment--his comments will be in italics.

My husband disliked me intensely the first time we met. True story.

I (Jenny) lived in an apartment with 3 other women (Jennifer, Johanna and Georgia). I’m not making that up. Jennifer and Car went to the same mission, and she ran into him at a missionary homecoming for someone they both knew. She was interested in him and invited him over. And then…he met me. I really wish I could insert some sort of ominous “duh-duh-DUH” music there to make the moment dramatic. Imagine it in your head, won’t you?

It’d be a great Utah County romance if I could say that our eyes met and we knew something was there from the start and that was it for us and we were engaged in a week and married in a month and lived happily
ever after, but the real story is much more true to who I am. I commuted every day to my job as a secretary for a direct marketing company, and spent the rest of my day exhausted. After work one night, I went to a movie with a friend–”Phenomenon.” Haven’t seen it? John Travolta dies. Now you don’t have to. I’m not a fan of emotionally manipulative movies (“Pay It Forward” made me near-homicidal), so by the time Phenomenon was over, I was pretty annoyed. Okay, I was pissed. And hungry, since it was probably about 10 pm and I hadn’t had dinner yet (me + low blood sugar = disaster).

Car came to the apartment that night, accompanied by his best friend, Nate. He didn’t want to face an apartment full of strange women without backup. Smart man.I can’t remember exactly what happened that
night. Car probably can, since I made quite an impression. He went home and told his father that he’d met a girl who was a massive jerk.

You were in a pretty pissy mood. I don’t remember what you were doing or saying. You just came across as a really unpleasant person.

Awesome. This begs the question: Why did he come back?

He was moved by the Spirit.

HA! I totally had you there, didn’t I? Actually, his best friend sparked a mutual interest with Georgia. When Nate wanted to come back, Car, being the stand-up guy he is, came along with him. When I arrived home from work, I was greeted by the sight of Car, Nate and Georgia setting up a game of Monopoly. I hate Monopoly. I know! Who hates Monopoly? Communists, and me. They tried to interest me in playing, but that wasn’t going to happen...until they played the pizza card. Apparently I’ll do anything for free food (shut up).What I remember about that night: Car was charming and funny. You were very cute and funny. I think I did mention something to Nathan about pretty eyes. We struck up a casual friendship. He and Nate came over regularly. Nate and Georgia dated. We all hung out. I dated a whole bunch of different guys, none of whom were Car, which was fine since he was my buddy.

I think one key thing you’re missing is the incredibly entertaining message I left on your answering machine. 

Message? I vaguely recall something about a message.
I don’t remember the specific details. It was something like I called up and got the machine and said it was me, and I knew you were all too excited to answer the phone, but I’m used to that and I’ll talk you through it. And I said stuff about taking deep breaths or something. You and your roommates said you listened to it a few times because you were so entertained.

One night a big group of us went to rent a movie (Cougar Rentals! Anyone? Anyone?) and for some reason I was struck by the thought that Car would be a really fun guy to date. I may or may not have been staring at his rear end when I thought this. I plead the fifth.

I remember that at some point you walked up behind me and put your hand on my back, and it was all like, woo! I even think I wrote something in a notebook about it. 

(He's not kidding. He wrote a poem, people.See what I inspire?) We watched the movie at our apartment.
As the roommates lounged around afterward, I said, “You know, Car would be fun to go out with.” Silence blanketed the room. Finally, Johanna said, “Jenny, Jen is dating Car.” (Could that sentence be more confusing?) I said something along the lines of, “Well, good on ya, Jen!” and went back to my life as usual.

That was the same night I got comfy with your pillow. We were sitting around watching a movie, and you offered me a pillow since I was on the floor. I determined it was your pillow. At that point, being young and single, I liked to wear cologne. My thought was if I snuggled up to your pillow close enough, that some of my cologne would rub off on your pillow. That night when you went to sleep, you’d smell my cologne and think of me. 
(I love this, because he was trying so hard and I was completely oblivious.) I remember someone–possibly you–making a comment about me getting fresh with your pillow.

About a week later, Car called. That wasn’t really unusual. After all, we were buddies, and buddies talk on the phone, right? This call was different–he asked me out. I was dumbfounded, but managed to say yes. We hung up, and I was overwhelmed with guilt. You don’t steal your roommate’s man! That’s, like, in a  handbook somewhere! I called him back and said, “I can’t go out with you. My roommate likes you. But I’m moving out in a week and she won’t be my roommate any more, so call me then.”

Yeah, there’s a special place in Hell reserved for me. I’m okay with that. In my defense, I did specify that he needed to talk to her and clarify their lack of relationship. I’m just that thoughtful.

A final word from Car: You know what I remember? You were dating lots of guys, so I thought my chance of hooking up with you was really small because you were so fun and outgoing. 

Yeah, he's pretty awesome.

This post is hideously long, but Erin asked me to add in some advice about how to catch the perfect guy. I started thinking of a really funny list (seriously, I was giggling as I wrote it in my head) but never wrote it on actual paper and now I've forgotten everything. Whoops. All I'm left with now is the serious stuff:

Stop looking for the perfect guy. Counter-intuitive, right? If you're planning eternity, you want perfection! I'm not talking about that whole, "if you want to catch a 10, you have to be a 10" sort of thing, because that's a load of crap. No woman rates herself high enough, which is why a lot of crap relationships happen. ("I'm only a 3, so I guess this guy who's a 4 is better than I even deserve.") The most romantic thing Car ever said to me? "You're not perfect, but you're perfect for me."

I think the key is to figure out what you need vs. what you want. I wanted man with musical talent. I needed a man who would stick by my side when I had a nervous breakdown. We'll never make beautiful music together (of the literal kind), but that's okay. Are you the list-making type? Make a list. Write down the areas where you will not compromise. That sounds silly and teenaged, but that's actually how I received the inspiration that Car was the right one. I prayed about it, and the next day I was thinking about that list, and realized he had every trait I wanted in an eternal companion. (To be perfectly honest, I wasn't very happy about that revelation. I was getting ready to submit my mission papers, and my prayer had been along the lines of, "If you really want to tell me something, I guess you can. But I'm good. Really. I don't need to know anything.")

So you have that list, and nothing is happening? Yeah, that sucks. Car and I were married for eight years before we managed to have kids. I spent a lot of time angry at God for not granting the righteous desires of my heart until I finally figured something out: God isn't just omnipotent. He's omniscent. He has a plan, and he knows the best way to make that plan work. I've said for a long time, "I know God has a plan for me. I just don't have to like it."

I suppose this all sounds trite from a woman who was married at the tender age of 21, but I truly believe that God knows you and has great things in store for you. There's a chance they're not the things you've planned or even want, but they're fantastic and prepared just for you. I don't know why I'm writing this when I hardly know you, but it feels right. You don't have to publish this last part. My feelings won't be hurt.


  1. Actually, neither of us attended BYU at that point - he was a UVSC student and I'd dropped out of BYU. I was still living in BYU-approved apartments, but that was all the association I still had with college at that point. ;)

  2. Jenny! I totally know you! Thanks for this post--it means a lot. You are a wise woman. :)


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